Use of beta-blocker types and risk of incident prostate cancer in a multiethnic population

Ali H. Zahalka, Ethan Fram, Wilson Lin, Larkin Mohn, Paul S. Frenette, Ilir Agalliu, Kara L. Watts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: Increased adrenergic innervation is observed in prostate cancer (CaP) and is associated with aggressive disease. Emerging evidence suggests that beta-adrenergic blockade inhibits CaP progression. However, the association between type of beta-blocker use and risk of incident CaP on initial prostate biopsy has not been investigated in multiethnic populations. Materials and methods: A retrospective study of racially/ethnically diverse men (64% African-American and Hispanic), who underwent initial prostate biopsy between 2006 and 2016 in a large healthcare system was performed. Oral use of beta-blocker type was assessed by reviewing active prescriptions within the 5-year period preceding initial biopsy. Patient demographics and clinical factors were collected. Results: Of 4,607 men who underwent initial prostate biopsy, 4,516 met criteria and 2,128 had a biopsy positive for CaP; 20% high-risk, 41% intermediate-risk, and 39% low or very-low risk (National Comprehensive Cancer Network classification). Overall, 15% of patients were taking a beta-blocker prior to initial biopsy, with Metoprolol, Atenolol, and Carvedilol accounting for the majority. Of beta-blocker types, Atenolol alone was associated with a 38% reduction in odds of incident CaP (P= 0.01), with a 40% and 54% reduction in risks of National Comprehensive Cancer Network intermediate and high-risk CaP (P = 0.03 and P = 0.03, respectively) compared to men not taking a beta-blocker. Furthermore, longer duration of Atenolol use (3–5 years) was associated with a 54% and 72% reduction in intermediate and high-risk disease, (P = 0.03 and P = 0.03, respectively). Conclusions: Among beta blocker types, long-term Atenolol use is associated with a significant reduction in incident CaP risk on initial prostate biopsy for clinically-significant intermediate and high-risk disease compared to men not taking a beta-blocker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)794.e11-794.e16
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Adrenergic receptors
  • Atenolol
  • Beta-adrenergic blockers
  • Disease progression
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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